Let’s be honest- the cluttered bathroom countertop with dozens of products…it’s not just her stuff, is it? Your grooming regimen is just as necessary, if not as pink….
It’s equally important for a guy to maintain a good grooming routine. But what about when you need to take the show on the road? So whether you’re away on a business trip, visiting relatives or your old college buddy, or just taking a few well-deserved vacation days, don’t forget the DOPP kit essentials!
The loyal washcloth is a key part of the DOPP kit. It’s needed to a wipe down after the morning shave. It’s there for when you want to quickly rinse your face to freshen up. And at the end of the day when you go to wash your hands before dinner, yes, the washcloth is there. The washcloth is often overlooked in the many bathroom products we have, but really, where would we be without it.
2. Shaving gel
It’s all very well having a razor, but nobody likes a dry scratching shave! A good quality shaving gel can act as a moisturizer for the skin, making the job easier. If you have a beard, the bristles can soften from regular use of shaving gel. If you’re clean shaven, gel helps prevent those nasty nicks that can occur when shaving.
TIP: Choose wisely! Shave gels are available in formulations specific to your skin type (sensitive, oily, etc.) and also for the type of shave (electric razor or disposable)
Talk about unsung heroes…How many times has deodorant saved the day for you? Everyone likes to start their day feeling – and smelling – fresh and confidant. Deodorants have a great variety of smells, some that are pretty strong, so try not to spray too much when you’re getting ready or you might find a lot of people at the office have a nasty cough! More subtle scents work best. Also try ones that are designed to last longer, so you can avoid having to regularly re-spray or reapply!
TIP: if you will be wearing cologne or other scented products, neutral or unscented versions are best.
Choosing a scent you like and that works well on you can be tricky. Every cologne smells different on each individual person- so don’t just choose from the bottle, spray on a bit and let it settle on your skin and see if you still like it ON YOU. Don’t try too many at once- your senses can get overwhelmed and you won’t get a clear idea of which is best. Aim to try a couple of scents each time you visit the store. If there’s not a winner, try again next time. Good colognes can be pricey, but in general, you get what you pay for and if it is to be your “signature scent”, do your best to get it right.
TIP: Again, the more subtle the smell the better for passers-by! Generally, a couple of sprits are enough for an evening out.
If deodorant is our hero then the toothbrush is our greatest weapon! In addition to your usual morning and evening brushing, sometimes it can feel good to have a quick once round the gums to refresh you after a heavy meal. Your parents and dentist were right to remind you to brush regularly. The toothbrush can help us avoid tooth decay – which leads to stinky breath and potentially expensive dental work. All of which can be prevented with regular use of the tiny, but powerful, toothbrush.
6. Nail scissors
When we’re packing a DOPP kit, it’s not an obvious choice to reach for the nail scissors. But when you find yourself with a painful toenail, or the fingernails need clipping, you’ll be glad you packed them! Plus, they double as mini scissors (like for any tags or loose strings on clothes that need removing ).
7. Eye drops
If you work in an office or spend a long time looking at screen, you’re likely to get dry eyes. Having a bottle of everyday eye drops on hand can revive your eyes during a long day. Those of you who wear contact lenses will also benefit from regular eye drops to ease soreness than can occur from long period of wearing contact lenses (*but make sure the formula you pick us is contact lens friendly!). A quick drop in each eye at lunchtime or before going out, so you won’t be a sight for sore eyes!
Conditioner can be tricky, but no less important! Both all hair types only a little bit is needed. Too much and your hair will get greasy very quickly and you’ll find yourself washing it all over again! For men with very short hair, conditioner might not be needed at all. Primarily it’s used to untangle hair – although it can work a substitute if you’ve run out of shaving gel!
TIP: To save space in your DOPP kit, look for a 2-in-1 formulation that offers both shampoo and conditioner. While I can’t recommend for long-term use, to save time and space when travelling, they are definitely the way to go. Travel size versions are best of course.
9. Hair product
How you style your hair (facial hair, too) says a lot about you. If you have longer hair, gel and wax can keep it in place while you’re getting on with life. Beard oil is a great product for the hairy chinned man. It smells sweet and works to keep your beard as fresh as your hair. Bottom line: Don’t let yourself get caught on a trip without your styling products.
Putting aside your shaving routine, it’s important to regularly moisturize. Some skin types will get dry or crusty – especially if you’re on holiday or enjoying a sunny day! A quick rub in the morning or evening can keep your face feeling smooth and hydrated. Take care of your skin, even if you’re only away somewhere for a night, and you’ll feel the difference.
TIP: look for a moisturizer with Sunscreen for at least SPF15 to protect you when you’re out on adventures.
The DOPP kit is a bag of bare essentials. It’s easy to get carried away with worrying about jackets and jeans, but our ‘getting-ready-to-face-the-world’ routine starts when we get up to brush our teeth and shave. Next time you’re in the bathroom, check you’ve got all the essentials for making the best of you.